Skip to content

As many childcare centers close, state focuses on unemployment demands

This week, more than 400,000 people visited the state's unemployment website seeking benefits.
dewine husted panel 640x420
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (left) and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine ordered all childcare facilities in the state to close before midnight Wednesday unless they have already obtained a temporary pandemic childcare license from the state.

There are 62 such childcare facilities in the Mahoning Valley, including 31 in Mahoning, 21 in Trumbull and 10 in Columbiana, according to the state's full list, which can be found at

The site includes other information for parents seeking daytime child care while a stay-home order remains in effect through April 6.

Lt. Gov. Jon Husted said childcare workers would be eligible for unemployment and those that are small businesses would be eligible for federal disaster relief.

Though the state is no longer releasing unemployment figures following a federal request for only weekly updates, Husted said more than 400,000 people visited seeking benefits. The surge in activity is reportedly still leading to long wait times for online and phone service, despite officials' work to boost its availability.

The state on Wednesday reported 704 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state in 55 counties. Ten people have died. Of those cases, 116, or 16 percent, are Ohio healthcare workers.

About 74 percent of the affected patients have not been hospitalized, though 15 percent have. Eleven percent of patients are in intensive care units, Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton said.

Mahoning County reported 10 new confirmed cases of the virus from Tuesday, bringing the total number of cases to 42. Trumbull County added five new cases Wednesday, bringing its total to 10, one case more than listed on the state Health Department's website. Columbiana County also reported one new case today, and now has a total four confirmed cases.

Some of the reported cases, however, are attributed to the county where the patient was tested, rather than where they reside, she said.

Acton said about 70 percent of the state's infections are of people under the age of 40 — though initial infection data from China was skewed toward older patients. Though virus testing remains limited in the state, Acton said more than 14,000 people have been tested in the state thus far.

Below are data presented by Acton during Wednesday's briefing:

Here are other new developments around the state and nation:

• The Ohio legislature on Wednesday passed various provisions to extend the state's primary election absentee voting deadline until April 28, to extend the state's tax filing deadline until July 15 — aligning it with the new federal deadline — to bar utility companies from disconnecting customers' water service and to allow high school seniors to graduate if they are "on track to do so."

• According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health on Wednesday, there are 1,127 COVID-19 cases in the state which have led to 11 deaths. There is one case in Lawrence County; two cases in Mercer County.

• The Pennsylvania House of Representatives unanimously agreed Tuesday on a plan delaying the primary election until June 2 amid the coronavirus pandemic. Senate Bill 422 heads back to the upper chamber for a concurrence vote Wednesday.

• The Jewish Community Center of Youngstown and Stambaugh Auditorium have set blood drives in late March and April to assist the American Red Cross, which is facing a severe blood shortage due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

• The Jewish Community Center of Youngstown is one of the 62 childcare facilities in the state to be granted an Emergency Pandemic Child Care license and is now accepting applications for immediate placement of children. More information can be found at, under the Early Learning tab. Parents who work in essential fields such as healthcare, emergency response and social services will be prioritized for the available daycare slots.

• The law firm of Betras, Kopp and Harshman is hosting a free online COVID-19 legal clinic on Wednesdays, for residents to ask questions relating to their jobs, health care and finances.